Boxers or Briefs? Rep. Dingell's Airport Exposure
Count frequent flier Rep. John Dingell, ranking member of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee, among the victims of post-9-11 airline security measures. After his artificial hip set off a metal detector Saturday afternoon, the 75-year-old Michigan Democrat was ordered to pull down his pants at Reagan National Airport as he tried to board Northwest Airlines Flight 1417 to Detroit. |
Dingell, who flies Northwest between Washington and Detroit around 100 times a year, told us yesterday that he explained to an airport security employee he was wearing a knee brace and surgically implanted pins are in his ankles, as well as a steel hip joint. Dingell said he refused a request to send his wallet through the X-ray machine, telling employees that a few weeks earlier jewelry had been stolen from his wife, General Motors Foundation President Debbie Dingell, when she sent it through.
Trained security guards at prisons strip down prisoners and give them full body cavity searches, yet are still unable to prevent weapons from being brought into prisons. However, this country seems to think that minimum wage untrained "security" employees can prevent weapons from being brought onto planes by fully-clothed individuals with luggage. Brilliant.